TAMPA — University of South Florida medical school dean Stephen Klasko is one of four finalists to be the next chancellor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the Omaha World-Herald has reported.
Klasko, 59, dean of the Morsani College of Medicine and CEO of the Health Sciences Center, had no comment Monday on the report, said USF Health spokeswoman Anne DeLotto Baier.
Klasko and the other three finalists for the Nebraska job are scheduled for interviews starting next week, the newspaper said.
Baier said Klasko's ranking as a top candidate for the Nebraska post reflected well on USF.
"Thanks to our senior leaders, USF Health is becoming known on a national stage as an innovator in medical education and an incubator for bold thinking on how to transform health care," she said in a statement. "It is a mark of this increased recognition that search committees seeking top-tier talent are coming here. On an individual basis, however, USF Health has a longstanding policy of not discussing personnel issues."
The other candidates include Dr. Daniel Wilson, 57, dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Florida Jacksonville; Dr. Frederick J. Meyers, 62, executive associate dean of the School of Medicine at the University of California Davis; and Dr. Robert Califf, 61, vice chancellor for clinical research and director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute at the Duke University Medical Center.
The new chancellor is expected to be on the job by the start of the fall semester.
The hard-charging Klasko, who has served as USF's dean for nearly a decade, has sought to raise the school's profile. But that sometimes has left him at odds with Tampa General Hospital, USF's primary teaching partner.
He teamed with the for-profit HCA hospital chain to run its new statewide network of trauma centers. That effort was fought by a number of local hospitals with existing trauma units, including Tampa General.
Tensions had run high enough between USF and TGH — they renewed only for one year an affiliation agreement that had typically lasted a decade — that Hillsborough commissioners threatened to step in and mediate. Observers blamed part of the dispute over personal conflicts between Klasko and former Tampa General CEO Ron Hytoff.
County Administrator Mike Merrill told commissioners recently that the two sides assured him that their relationship is improving.
Klasko had been pondering his future at the USF Health helm. As the Tampa Bay Times reported in March, Klasko worried last fall about his relationship with David A. Straz Jr., the chairman of Tampa General's board. "I really do believe that he (Straz) will want me to be totally out of being responsible for USF Health strategy," Klasko wrote in an email to USF president Judy Genshaft.
Jodie Tillman can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3374.